Sunday, November 2, 2008

Introduction, part 2

My first post was well over a year ago. I thought it'd be a good idea to recap what has happened since then, so new visitors have a place to go to catch up, rather than just starting cold with seemingly random stories of swimming moose and toilet technology.

So, in a nutshell:
  • I'm Don, my wife is Sooz, and our son is Grant. We're Americans who lived in Sweden 1989-91, and we've lived in London since 1999.
  • We all love Sweden, and have many friends there. It's common for Swedes to have a summer house, often on one of the many islands in the archipelago. We were able to buy land on the island of Aspö in the summer of 2007.
  • I like modern Scandinavian design, and found a Swedish company, X-House, who make very square and clean timber buildings from glue-laminated wood. We designed two homes, a large (62 sq. m.) house and a smaller guest house, and applied for permission to build.
  • We received our permission in April, and built in August 2008. As of this writing, the house is essentially done, save the bathroom and interior plumbing.
  • Building on an island, especially in another country, has with it many challenges, to say the least. Our friend Janne, an island resident, has been essential to this process, although, frankly, I've leaned on many friends, both old and new, to get this done. You'll find many references to all these people in the blog.
  • In fact, there are many posts about Swedish and island culture, as well as asides on related topics. This isn't just a building blog, although I have tried to give realistic and practical information.
  • I have many photos of the building process, which are arranged in galleries, along the right side of the blog. I've also been careful about tagging my entries, so you can easily find posts related to building, people, culture, etc.
  • For the next few months, the winter weather will slow work on the house, but I'll continue to post on a number of related topics. Our big push will be towards midsummer's day 2009, which is an important day on the Swedish calendar, particularly for island residents, and also especially for me, as it's my 50th birthday.
I welcome comments and feedback. My goal is to make this blog useful and amusing, and I can always use help from readers to accomplish that!


DeepBlueSea said...

Hej, thanks for the update. I've been a fairly regular lurker for the past few months, from a distant Melbourne Australia. Have personal and work links to Sweden.
All the best,

expateek said...

Hey, Toy Boy! Great post! I appreciate the recap because at my advanced age I can't remember a thing.

Keep up the great work. Photos are beautiful.

Don said...

Martin, good to hear from you. I hope to keep you entertained, and please comment more, I can always use extra information.

Ellie, praise from you is especially welcome, given the level of writing on your blog. And thanks (I think) for the "Toy Boy"....